Through social media, content marketing, and search engine advertising, any business can establish a prominent online presence and encourage potential customers to visit their website. But some organisations fail to prepare for this increasing influx of traffic, which should always start with choosing the right web hosting solution. In many respects, this is somewhat understandable, as there are a number of different services and packages available, which can be confusing. So, what hosting is right for your business?
Shared Web Hosting
This type of hosting refers to websites sharing the same server as hundreds of other websites. Typically the hosting of choice for small blogs and websites just starting out, the server’s hardware and software resources are also shared among all users. It remains a viable option for those wanting an inexpensive host, which is easy to use and offers various install options for things like blogs or forums. On a shared server, the host will also manage the hardware and operating system-layer software for you. However, you should avoid this web hosting if you cannot afford slow page load times, as other users can exceed their share of the system resources. What’s more, you might find it difficult to install or manage anything on the server as the root user.
Private Virtual Hosting
Although websites will once again share the same server, each user receives their own dedicated slice of resources, which is made possible via virtualisation. If you have a small website but anticipate growth in the near future, then private virtual hosting makes a lot of sense because it is straightforward to scale up or down depending on your requirements. The hosting provider will also manage all hardware and offer full root access. But as you might be responsible for some server software maintenance, a basic level of technical knowledge is advantageous. Large tiers of virtual hosting can get quite pricey too.
With dedicated hosting, you are given your own server. The hosting provider owns and manages the server hardware, but will lease the operating system and software to you. This option is ideally suited to medium and large websites, as you don’t share the server with anyone else and have extensive configuration options. You will also benefit from predictable and consistent performance compared to other options. Having said that, a dedicated server requires a fair amount of technical knowledge, while the cost of rental can quickly exceed the cost of buying hardware, especially if you need lots of RAM or disk space.
As opposed to just one server, your website will be hosted across multiple servers working together as ‘the cloud’ to reduce the chances of downtime in case one has an issue. The cloud allows you to manage peak loads easily without bandwidth issues too. Cloud hosting is typically an enterprise-level hosting solution, but as the price comes down, smaller businesses will also be able to take advantage. Price depends on your actual usage, which makes it appealing to mid-size organisations as well. However, some providers will not offer root access, which is needed to change setting or install software.